How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Cybersecurity in Current Times

Do you remember the movie Wall-E where robots took over human tasks, and all man did was relax? Or Bicentennial Man where a robot begins to experience human emotions desiring to transform into a human. Yes, these are not just movies of fantasy anymore but a very real reality. Artificial intelligence today is slowly seeping into our lives and becoming real each day.

With the significant changes in information exchange and technology, the one thing to look out for, is cloud. Recent technological trends show a rise in the growth and usage of cloud. From Amazon Web Services to Oracle and Google almost everyone offers a cloud platform. This fast-growing network of connected devices is a hub for cyber criminals posing a threat to the security.

Securing assets in a digital business are of utmost importance, they could be your customer’s data, any company specific sensitive data or your photographs or anything that can affect your business is of concern. Over the years, a lot of counter measures have been adopted to thwart these cyberattacks, one of them being use of Artificial Intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence:

From web search, facial recognition, smart city, self – driving cars to virtual personal assistance applications like Siri, Google Now and Cortana,

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has established its roots everywhere. AI devices are designed to act in an intelligent manner. This vast application of AI across applications has resulted in huge amounts of data, more computing power and increase in storage capacity.

Before looking at how does it work alongside cybersecurity. Let’s have a look at what exactly is cybersecurity.

What is Cybersecurity:

Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems from the theft or damage to their hardware, software or information, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. [1]

The main aim of cyberthreats is to disrupt the digital applications/businesses by compromising their sensitive data by means of various hacks and attacks. Latest ransomware attacks like WannaCry and Petya are examples of deadly malwares that compromise your data and threaten to destroy it if ransom is not paid. To protect themselves from such threats, businesses can tap in solutions offered by cybersecurity companies by applying artificial intelligence (AI).

Types of Cybersecurity Threats:

According to a study by CBINSIGHTS, cybersecurity threats can be classified into 4 main types; Malware, DDos (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, IoT (Internet of Things) & Endpoints, and Social Engineering. The below table by CBINSIGHTS gives a fair idea on how AI helps in enhancing cybersecurity.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a vast collection of devices where all devices are inter-networked (connected) to each other, accessible through (over) the internet. IoT is on a boom, from smart homes to wearable devices like healthcare tracker. Most of the connected devices worldwide don’t have basic security measures in place for lack of hardware and software resources. AI based techniques come in handy that can detect attacks early on blocking them before any real harm is done.

 

 

AI start-ups like Cylance, Fortscale and Vectra all use machine learning and behavioral analytics to detect attacker’s behavior and provide real time security.

  •         Network Anomaly Risk

If your business has heavy flow of traffic from different sources, you can become a victim to some malicious activity, like malware, bots and DDoS attacks to name a few. Network traffic if, properly analyzed can give businesses an idea if abnormal traffic is there in their network. Detecting such traffic that could be malicious in nature is manually not that feasible, as it requires deep inspection and correlations.

If you have small or a medium sized business, a blog that has heavy traffic security tools like SiteLock provides good protection against DDoS attacks. Apart from this, medium and large businesses could even start using advanced AI technology provided by some AI startups, DarkTrace and Vectra to name a few.

On an end note, Artificial Intelligence, is an ever-growing technology that apart from modernizing and easing our lifestyle can also be used to observe the system, and detect any suspicious activity in the network by identifying patterns using algorithms and enabling remedies faster. This in turn helps in cybersecurity. However, AI is not the only solution in cybersecurity, it all depends on the type of attack. A non-malware attack doesn’t require any additional software, in such cases AI is not yet efficient enough to handle such different attacks.

All in all, AI should be adopted if and only if, your business is prone to such risky attacks and thwart such network breaches.

 

References:

[1] Gasser, Morrie (1988). Building a Secure Computer System(PDF). Van Nostrand Reinhold. p. 3. ISBN 0-442-23022-2. Retrieved 6 September 2015.

 

About H. Fatima

H. FatimaIn the days of yore, H. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full time writing. Her blog is a collection of short vignettes, stories and poems. She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyzes. It is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), listening to various genres of music, volunteering and watching movies.

H. Fatima

H. Fatima

In the days of yore, H. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full time writing. Her blog is a collection of short vignettes, stories and poems. She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyzes. It is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), listening to various genres of music, volunteering and watching movies.